Saturday, August 08, 2020

The Convenience of Systems

 It occurred to me on a walk that a bias toward seeing everything in terms of systems, so that all problems can only be solved at a systems level is convenient in another way.  If something is a system, then all its parts are interrelated and might affect each other. Therefore, if you define something a system, it allows you to intervene absolutely anywhere with at least superficial plausibility. 

This is why Congress likes to develop "comprehensive" solutions to everything, rather than finding something wrong and fixing it or finding something right and encouraging it. It allows interventions to multiply endlessly.


james said...

Which should leave anyone who writes software with his hair standing on end.

Did you ever read The Mythical Man-Month?

Sam L. said...

Picking at the "system" means that picking will never, NEVER, stop.

random observer said...

One could draw any number of conclusions about the essential Americanness of this mindset, even if this specific manifestation is derivative of German Marxism. Come to think, American system fixations in education and industry have often been German derived.

Wisecracks about Ford or McNamara must yield to Martin Prince, though, in this early Simpsons in which standardized testing [a hyper-American obsession] is parodied;